Last week I set the stage to share my biggest mistake by writing about the first half of our recording odyssey. If you missed it, you can read about it here. Today, I’ll wrap this story and share what my big mistake taught me.
2006– My family is sent to France for work while Jeremy continues to recover in Minnesota. For me, leaving the album unfinished is the hardest part about leaving for France.
2007– With Jeremy’s cancer in remission, we gingerly discuss resuming recording after I’m back in the States. We are both fiercely committed to the project, but still gun shy.
2008– I have a baby in January, and Jeremy’s wife has one in June. We hold off.
2009– We finish all the recording. After years of laboriously slow going, Jeremy and I record “Ruth” together in a single take. I savor it (but seriously regret not doing a live album). Jeremy finishes the mixing and mastering, and I finish the design and packaging. “Return to Sender” is a reality. Our 2 families quietly celebrate together in late autumn.
After all we went through to get here, I want to shout about it from the rooftops! But I don’t. I’m newly pregnant and nearly incapacitated. And while completing the album was a REALLY BIG DEAL for us, it (understandably) wasn’t for anybody else. Most of our friends at the start of the process weren’t in our lives by the time we finished. We had disappeared off their radar, in part because of the years we spent away. Most of our new friends had no idea I sang, let alone wrote songs. Through all the years that we worked (or didn’t work) on the album, I imagined sharing this story in the liner notes of the disc jacket, but by the time we finished the album, nobody does that anymore. So I often just sheepishly hand people a CD and mumble something about “We made this…it’s a long story…”
2012- I realized this wasn’t enough and released the album digitally in April. I launch this blog largely because I think I’ll be talking about my music. But Jeremy’s cancer is back, and he’s going through a bone marrow transplant. Promoting my music seems distasteful at a time like this. I write about my own brush with death instead.
Jeremy dies in June. It feels like there’s no tasteful way to promote the album after that. Everything feels petty. I know that God still had plans for the music, but nothing had gone as I planned.
2013- Almost a year later, I realize my mistake. Not promoting this music wasn’t gracious, or tasteful, or anything that I want to be. It’s cowardice. The fact is, God entrusted me with gifts to share. Not sharing them is a huge disservice to the people they’re meant to bless. It’s also a disservice to Jeremy, to myself, and to God. From now on, I’m gonna shamelessly promote everything God’s given me, because that’s truth . False humility is just false.